When we first moved into this house, we knew we would be doing projects as we went. I knew one of the smaller projects I wanted to do was the cushions on my kitchen chairs. They started a lovely shade of cream I am sure, but with two kids, the cream just does not withstand the test of time. Today, I am going to show you the method I used for my kitchen chair make-over, and the tricks I learned as I went. Yay for updating furniture on the cheaper side!!
First things first, have you decided on a fabric type? Depending on if you have little ones who will regularly be eating on your beautiful newly updated chairs, you will want to make this step count. I went with a heavier weight fabric, made just for this project. And since I love the color red for a kitchen, this worked well for me. I went with the French Toil in cream and red.
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Gather Your Materials for the Chair Make-Over
For this project you will need:
- 1 yard PER chair of the fabric of your choice ( stick to Home Decor fabric, it is heavier and can withstand more)
- Foam Seat Cushions, Set of 4. I used 22x22x2 and I had enough room to move all the way around each cushion.
- Staples and Stapler (t-50 works perfect
- Batting (I purchased the cheapest crib size and had some left over)
- Spray Adhesive I love Elmer's Spray Adhesive
- Screw Driver
- Razor knife or other utility knives with a blade of at least 2 inches, but the adjustable ones work perfectly!
The following steps will guide you and your own kitchen chair make-over. Ready? Let’s go!
Step 1 Some Assembly Required
Dissasemble the seat from the chair frame. To do this, lay the chair on its side and remove all screws from the underside of the chair.
Step 2 Out With The Old
Get all of that old fabric and padding off of the seat. I did this by taking my knife and running it along the edge of the seat and pulling. This step is messy. You should definitely wear long sleeves and pants, I wore a t-shirt and I am all itchy. Skip the Benedryl and put on long sleeves. You will thank me later!
Step 3 Spray and Stack
Get your glue, cushion, and seat bottom and line the back edge up on the edge of the foam. Spray the board and spray the perimeter of the board and a little spot in the center and realign the board and cushion and push down. Do not try to move the board after you have set it with glue.
Step 4 Knives are sharp, please use caution!
Extend your knife (if necessary) and start at the back corner. This step is CRITICAL so be patient with the knife. Your foam should be easier to push through with your knife than a loaf of French Bread. Do this in one fluid motion, trying not to saw the foam. If you notice that you didn’t cut all the way through, gently pull the foam apart and touch your knife to the material.
Step 5 Just soften the edges, would ya?
Batting. I tried to secure with both staples and glue and I found the staples worked best for the corners because the batting bunched up a bit. But the glue was great for the side of the foam. You are only trying to hold it in place until you get your fabric in place and secured. The batting is used to soften the edges of the squared corners of the foam. The fun part is next!!
Step 6 Put some muscle in it, lady!
At this point, you should have a new cushion cut and fastened to your seat and covered in batting. Now it’s time to add your pretty new fabric! A few pointers here will be your best friend so listen up. Pre-cut your fabric into one-yard sections. This will be so much easier than trying to manipulate four yards. Also, pull tightly, so the fabric is not too lose and minimizes the amount of wear you will see. Ready?
- Ok start at the back part of the seat, and make sure the pattern is the way you want it to be.
- Lay your fabric FACE DOWN and leave 3-4 inches at the top.
- Pull and secure (staple) three spots not too close to the edge. After you do that move to the closest corner. I folded mine to look pleated, but it took a while to decide how I wanted the corners to look.
- Continue this pattern to all four corners. After the seat is all stapled, add a few more to all sides for good measure. Make sure the staples are completely sunk into the wood, so the material does not tear.
Step 7 Trim up any loose ends
Trim any fabric that is loose or hanging. You won’t be able to see this side, as it is under the chair, but you still want it to look clean.
Step 8 Now put it back together.
Reattach your new cushion seat to your chair. For this, you may have to lay it on the chair and mark where the screws go, and then cut that portion of fabric away. I do not recommend leaving the fabric and screwing it down as is because the screws may get caught up or not set properly,
Step 9 Your chair is done!
- Two sets of hands will be more beneficial than one set.
- Pre-Cut the fabric, but do not wash it.
- The glue will amaze you when it comes time to attach your batting
- Go slow, and be patient. Your best work will come from this!
Love Your Project!
This took me less than a day and was way easier than I would have guessed. If you want something fresh and updated without breaking the bank, this project is PERFECT for you!
If you tried this and ran into problems, or you found an easier way to do this, please let me know. I am always looking for ways to simplify my projects and life!!
Until next time
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